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Welcome to the Financial Times live web chat with Noelle N’Guessan who features in our Ten Questions Q&A.

Noelle N’Guessan is an MBA student at IESE Business School in Spain. After graduation, she will be working at MDE Business School in Ivory Coast. She will answer your questions on Thursday 22nd Deccember 2011, between 13.00-14.00 GMT.

Post your questions to ask@ft.com and they will be answered on the day on this page.


Why did you choose to study at IESE Business School?

Noelle: For me, doing an MBA responds to the desire I have to obtain sufficient tools that will enable me to act my role in society with confidence. Cote d’Ivoire, my country has huge and unexploited natural resources potential, as most African countries do. But it needs human resources to help it make the transformation from raw materials to valuable products and services. I believe that the MBA, far from being a panacea, will give me the tools to better understand the challenges for succeeding in an international environment while teaching me how to use other strategies to help African countries.

From there on, deciding which school was quite easy: I had a clear set of criteria; I wanted to study at a prestigious school, known for the quality of its professors and teaching methods and also for its clear strategic goal of training leaders with values. IESE fitted the criteria.

When did you decide you wanted to join MDE Business School? Are you considering any other options for when you finish your MBA?

Noelle: A while back, near the end of 2009, I was still working at my last tenure and received a call from a friend encouraging me to take the path I have always dreamt of taking. The offer from MDE was a typical package: MBA plus working for them for a certain number of years. I had seen such offers before so I wasn’t very surprised. However, MDE was a start-up and I knew I would have the opportunity to test my knowledge and build myself up as a professional (which is not always the case when working with multinational companies). And so I decided to go ahead with them.

Well, everybody always has a plan B and so do I. From my MBA experience I have met lot of people with interests in Africa and so I think I could always be a business partner, helping to implement business ideas in Africa.

But my primary plan is to definitely go back and work for MDE, helping to enhance the management qualities of Ivorian businesspeople, which are the key to success in such a global world as ours.

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